Joy Behar, 79, one of the four hosts of the talk show, was discussing the dreaded politics conversations that families get into on Thanksgiving with Whoopi Goldberg when she said she welcomed divisive discussions during Wednesday’s episode.
Then she suddenly said, ‘I’d like to suggest everybody out there, come out to your family this Thanksgiving,’ Behar said. ‘Just come out! See what happens!’
Her cohosts appeared confused by the statement, with Whoopi Goldberg joking, ‘Come out…the door?’
Co-host Sara Haines was confused by Behar’s remark, saying: ‘I can’t follow this conversation.’
Behar, who has advocated for LGBTQ rights in the past and received a GLAAD award in 2010, said she wanted people to be their genuine selves and not hide.
‘Don’t let anybody tell you who you have to be,’ Behar said.
Yet the comment came off as tone deaf with many people criticizing Behar for tell them what they should do, unaware of the ramifications they could face for coming out to their families.
Twitter user Francesca Muir called the talk show host ‘out of touch with reality’ on Twitter.
‘Don’t U realize that this could be very dangerous for some people TO COME OUT…who are U to make that decision…you won’t suffer the consequences…if THEY WANT TO, they decide/NOT U,’ Muir wrote.
One Twitter user with the handle name @JoePGould wrote, ‘I couldn’t tell if she was encouraging people or threatening them.’
Another user named Zad Efron tweeted,’ Oh phew. Now that I have Joy’s blessing, I think I’m ready to come out.’
While someone with the name Shania Twink tweeted, ‘She’s gonna get so many people disowned this week.’
A Twitter user with the handle @bthyle noted Goldberg’s uncomfortable reaction to Behar’s comment.
‘Why don’t we come out as actors that want whoppy’s job?’
Another person on Twitter with the name Luv mocked Behar and urged people to document their experiences with her advice.
‘That’s right kids. Don’t forget to use #JoyBeharComeOutChallenge when you post their reactions,’ Luv wrote.
A Twitter user with the name Wally Bee simply wrote, ‘Spoken by someone who truly has no idea what that even means.’
Another user with the handle @fval_1 tweeted that the holiday did not need any more divisions.
‘Are politics and vaccines not enough to cause arguments?’
One Twitter user with the handle name mandagrl2 tweeted at Behar, telling her ‘you, an older, wealthy, entitled, white woman, want ppl to come out today “just because”? It shows how out of touch you are. Really.’
Although the holiday season can bring joy, it can also bring about heartbreak for members of the LGBTQ community, some of whom celebrate the holiday with friends rather than family members, the New York Times reported.
Zacarías González, a gay man, told the Times his family had disowned him in 2004 after he came out to them during Thanksgiving dinner.
His father had emailed him later that day to tell him never to contact his family until he received ‘treatment’ for being gay.
It was these types of realities that triggered the backlash against Behar. This was not the first time Behar drew criticism for actions.
Earlier this year, Behar had to apologize for making a joke about Carl Nassib, an openly gay NFL player for the Las Vegas Raiders, Outsider reported.
When the view was discussing his coming out on Instagram, Behar, confused by the technical terms of the sport, said, ‘Ana, after they said penetration in the end zone, they lost me!’
The joke triggered a storm of criticism against Behar, with many on Twitter calling on her to resign.
In her apology, Behar wrote, ‘I just long for the day when you can just be gay in the world, and it doesn’t become a big deal,’ she said. ‘By the way, that inappropriate joke I made for daytime television? Scratch it. Make-believe I never said it.’
Behar also faced a wave of backlash in recent years for allegedly wearing ‘blackface’ when she was 29, the Washington Post reported.
She had once brought up the incident in a 2016 episode of The View, showing off a photo of herself with darker skin and short, dark, curly hair, saying she was dressed up as ‘a beautiful African woman.’
Behar has repeatedly denied the accusations of wearing blackface and received support from Goldberg when the stories resurfaced during The View’s interview with then-president Donald Trump in 2019.